PHOTOGRAPHY ADVENTURE VACATIONS
The World’s Most Creative and Inspiring Photo Tours and Cultural Adventures
Answers to your frequently asked questions
Below is a list of frequently asked questions that should answer most of your inquiries. You can also use the search bar below to customize your search. If you still need help, feel free to contact us by email or call us at 1-888-834-0288.
Can anyone attend?
Absolutely. Although our focus is on capturing great photos, almost everyone who goes on vacation brings a camera and enjoys taking photos. So you are free to join us as a guest with or without any serious intentions toward photography. Many non-photographer spouses, partners and friends walk away inspired and with a greater appreciation for photography.
What separates PWA from the rest?
It all depends on what you would like to get out of our adventure. We refer to our workshops as photo adventure vacations, because clearly everyone is on vacation, there to enjoy themselves and also learn. More advanced photographers look to us to provide an amazing turn-key tour that fast forwards them to the best locations, so they can concentrate on shooting and not have to worry about anything else. Much like a seasoned fly fishing guide guiding his experienced client to his secret fishing holes. Beginners, enthusiasts and less advanced photographers will want something different, and we offer this as well. Throughout the adventure we will discuss how to be more creative with your photography, composition, exposure, the proper use of aperture and shutter speed, long exposure, use of ND filters etc. We typically do this in the field, over lunch or in the lounge at our hotel. We never give any boring classroom instructions. If you are a beginner, it’s important to arrive with basic knowledge of your camera’s settings, menu and manual. Armed with the basics, you can better concentrate on technique and style and how to expose for that great image. So, to answer your question, we are both a tour and a workshop, and you are free to make it whatever you prefer, and absorb and harness as much or as little information as you like.
When will I find out more details about my trip?
After you submit your deposit and registration we begin correspondence with you via email or phone. Our first objective is to help you coordinate your travels to and from our workshop destination. Are you arriving a day or so early, or staying beyond our workshop? Some people have even chosen to do back-to-back workshops and move on to the next destination with us. About 2-4 weeks before your departure date you will receive our PWA eWelcome Kit which includes everything you need to prepare for your trip. It includes a detailed list of equipment you should consider bringing, our daily itineraries, important mobile numbers and more. We will email you before your departure to make sure that everything is in order and answer any last minute questions you may have.
Can I bring family or friends?
Absolutely! We always welcome guests whether they are photographers or just would like to come along for the adventure. Guests must pay the same fee as a photographer.
What is your group size?
Our small group size photo adventures typically range from 4 to 6 guests, and occasional may go to 8 guests. We try to keep our guest-to-leader ratio to no more than 8 to 1, unless otherwise noted.
What type of hotel accommodations can I expect?
Expect to be wowed! We really pride ourselves on the excellent hotel choices we make. We typically stay in hotels in the 4-star category. On occasion, and depending on the location and the budget, we may even stay in a 5-star hotel. Not all destinations offer these types of properties. We look for unique hotels (usually boutique) which offer cultural, historic and/or authentic features. Depending on the size of the group, smaller boutique hotels may have limited room inventory. In some countries or in remote locations, we may be limited to hotels, lodges, bed and breakfasts or branded chain hotels of lesser quality. Breakfast is included only if included in our room rates.
Should I book an early arrival or late departure room?
When are hotels selected?
A selection of our preferred hotels is listed on each destination page. We will distribute finalized hotel details, approximately 4-6 weeks prior to our adventure.
Can I share a hotel room?
Our pricing is based on double occupancy (the industry standard). This means that unless you are traveling with another photographer or bringing someone else as a guest, you will need to select the single supplement option. On very rare occasions we can pair you up with a suitable roommate, but this almost never happens. Most guests look forward to their privacy after a long day of exploring and photography.
Do you offer photo adventures in Cuba?
Yes! And it’s one of our more popular destinations, especially among Americans. Although traveling to Cuba has become easier in recent years, the complexities of Cuba require a real sense of adventure. But all agree that the cultural and the photographic experiences are well worth the extra effort. We accept guests from all over the world. Our Cuba Photo Adventures are 100% compliant with U.S. Treasury OFAC rules and regulations. We offer 6 different ways to travel to Cuba. These include Classic Cuba, Vanishing Cuba, Havana, Eastern Cuba, Cuba Private, and Cuba Unplugged. To learn more about the latest regulations regarding travel to Cuba for U.S. Citizens, click here.
Can I fly directly to Cuba?
For U.S. Citizens, flying to Cuba couldn’t be easier. American, Delta, United and jetBlue Airlines all fly to various airports in Cuba, mainly Havana. There is a daily non-stop flights from New York City and Charlotte, SC to Havana, and of course, all flights from Miami and Tampa are non-stop. For non U.S. Citizens, flying to Cuba is no different than flying to anywhere else in the world.
What can I expect upon my arrival?
Your welcome package will contain all the details about our rendezvous, which is typically mid-to-late morning on your arrival date. We usually meet at our arrival hotel or sometimes at the airport depending on our workshop destination. After checking into our hotel we meet to review the weeks itinerary, enjoy lunch and answer any questions. You’re free to spend the late afternoon exploring or resting as we prepare to host our PWA Welcome Dinner, which kicks off a week of fun, adventure, exploration and learning. NOTE: Many people choose to arrive a day or so earlier. Please select an early arrival room when registering or email us with a request.
What's not included?
Besides your arrival and departure flights, transportation and hotel transfers, you have little to worry about other than the cost of several meals. Our 6+ day adventures include all accommodations, local transportation, breakfasts (when included in the hotel package), two dinners (beverages and alcohol are not included), and several of our destinations such as Iceland, Bhutan and Turkey include all or most meals. Any excursions are listed in the final itinerary as optional and extra. These could include boat tours, hot air balloon rides, ferries, museum admissions, helicopter tours, scooter rentals, boat rentals, horses, donkeys, etc.
What can I expect to learn?
Our photo adventures are designed to not only to guide you to the most photogenic locations carefully planned for the best light*, but to aid you in mentally visualizing a scene before capturing the decisive moment. Our aim is to raise your awareness and spark your creativity so that you not only go home with images to be proud of, but use your new found skills to improve and expand your photographic technique in general. Apart from the technical aspect of learning your camera settings and capabilities, you will learn how to turn an ordinary image into an extraordinary image by using your own creativity. In addition, you will become knowledgeable on how to survey the landscape, utilize and approach your environment, photograph people indigenous to the region and the cultural considerations and challenges of photographing in a foreign country. And no photography workshop would be complete without discussing workflow and editing, including Adobe Lightroom®, Adobe Photoshop®, and plugins such as NIK that will really make your photos dance. *Since our adventure days run from morning until night, there are many hours throughout the day when the light is not perfect, and even more so on traveling adventures when we are in transit all day. Photographing during the middle of the day is sometimes unavoidable.
What if I don’t know very much about photography?
Our workshops include photographers with varied experience, which makes the workshops more interesting and rewarding. The less you know, the harder we work. We enjoy teaching and sharing our knowledge with everyone. You’ll even be surprised how much you will learn from other students who are attending as well.
How many hours a day do we spend photographing?
Will you show me how to use my new camera?
Yes, but you should know the basics of your camera. It’s important to read the manual and become comfortable with the menu and features of your new camera. We try to stay up-to-date with all the latest cameras and equipment, but it’s not possible to know every make and model. Basics are the same, regardless of what camera you own, as well as learning creative techniques, the use of light and shadows, composition and the technical aspects of todays sophisticated digital cameras. Be sure to bring your camera manual (PDF or hard copy) and we’ll work together to get you more comfortable and confident with your equipment.
Will our photographer leader also be photographing?
What if we experience bad weather?
Great question! Actually, some of the best photos are taken in less than perfect weather with interesting atmospheric conditions. That’s not to say that we will venture out in a thunderstorm on the cliffs of Cinque Terre, but you get the idea. If the weather is really bad, we will move to indoor locations that might include a church, a winery, interesting architectural structure or a museum. You will learn how to make the most of every situation we encounter and that might include bad weather, but remember, this is an adventure!
What time do your adventures begin?
What type of camera should I bring?
That is completely up to you. You may bring a DSLR, mirrorless camera, point-n-shoot, or even an iPhone if that is what you are most comfortable shooting with. Of course the more sophisticated the camera, the more options you will have in varying situations and learning techniques since smartphones are limited. We also recommend that you bring a lightweight tripod, extra memory cards and a laptop or tablet (although these are optional). If you don’t own a camera, you can rent a complete camera/lens package from camera rental companies such as LensRentals, Borrow Lenses, Lens Pro To Go, or Adorama for as little as $300 for the week plus shipping. Email or call us if you have any questions about your equipment or if you would like to discuss rental options. Your PWA Welcome Package will contain much more detailed information on how to pack right, and light.
Do I need to bring a laptop with me?
A laptop computer is essentially your present day darkroom and a necessity for todays digital photography. Not only is it required to download your daily images and free up your memory card, but also to display your work for discussions and reviews. We’ll also be teaching you how to use editing and enhancement softwares on your computer. So it would only benefit you to bring one. Your welcome kit will discuss what softwares you might want to consider purchasing before the trip, if you don’t already own them. Or you can choose to download a 15 and 30 days trial just before the workshop begins.
Do you rent camera equipment?
We don’t typically rent equipment on our international workshops, but we do rent DSLRs and high-end Pro Point n Shoots on our NYC workshops. In the United States you can rent complete DSLR Camera/Lens packages from Lens Rentals, Borrow Lenses, Lens Pro To Go, and Adorama Rentals for as little as $300 a week. There are rental houses in Europe and Canada that offer similar programs. You can email us for rental suggestions based on your budget and location and we’ll be happy to help you get the right gear. We do try to keep some equipment with us on each trip that can be purchased, such as memory cards, batteries, laptop and cell phone chargers, adapters, and sometimes even a tripod or lens or two.
Should I get my camera's sensor cleaned before my trip?
It’s always a good idea to clean your camera’s sensor before a long trip. You can buy a cleaning kit and clean it yourself (just make sure that you learn how to correctly clean the sensor and test it before leaving). Or you can bring it to your local camera shop for a cleaning, or send it to the manufacturer for a cleaning, diagnostics check and firmware update.
Will we be doing any flash photography?
On travel photo adventures we almost never use flash. Unless there are model and portrait photography opportunities outlined in the program, the times we might use flash will be extremely limited. Why is this? Since most of our photo adventures include travel, cultural, people, street, landscape, urban and architectural photography, the need or use of a flash is not necessary. Using available light is always best. However, sometimes on-camera fill-flash can be helpful in low light situations. But you need to know how to control this light so that you do get an artificially looking photograph. Furthermore, when shooting portraits, fashion and people as a group, it is nearly impossible to shoot using strobes unless you take turns which significantly slows down the process. We sometimes use continuous LED lights with groups. Flash photography is not taught on our photo adventures unless otherwise noted.
Can I use a film camera?
Do you offer private adventures?
We offer private photo and cultural adventures for individuals, couples, families and groups. We can customize any of our published adventures to meet your individual needs, schedule, budget and interests. If photography is not your thing, we can easily adjust and deliver an amazing adventure focused on travel, culture and cuisine. Or use our Corporate Team Building workshops to help you and your staff “think outside the box”.
Registration & Payment
What type of payment do you accept?
We accept Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover and PayPal. All prices and payments are in U.S. Dollars. Deposits may be paid by credit card, bank card, PayPal or bank check, either online or by phone.
Do you offer gift cards?
Do you offer discounts?
We often run Last Minute Sales for upcoming adventures that we are looking to fill. Several times throughout the year we may offer promotions. Our Rewards Program allows registered guests earn valuable points which you can redeem on your next trip. This is a great way to save up to 8% off future trips. Our Loyalty Program is designed with three tiers: Orange, Gold and VIP Members. Points may be applied towards balance payments on your next trip, or you may choose to accumulate points for a free trip in the future. We know your have a choice, and we appreciate your loyalty,
Are international flights included?
Are airport transfers included?
That depends on the adventure. Please check the website or your itinerary to see if airport transfers are included in your photo adventure. We typically do not provide airport transfers in cities or destinations where transportation is easily available. Because we have guests flying in at different times and on different days, it makes coordinating this service difficult and unnecessary. On photo adventures in more exotic locations such as Bhutan, India, Turkey, Nepal, Kenya, etc., we do provide airport transfers. These details as well as others will all be communicated to you in your welcome package. Guest who have reached VIP status in our Rewards Program are eligible for free airport transfers.
When should I book my flights?
Should I arrive one day early?
Since our photo adventures typically begin at 11 AM on the first day, we do suggest that you book your flight to arrive one day early so that you are rested and ready to begin your adventure on day one. Some tours begin in the later afternoon of the first day eliminating the need for this, but we feel that this essentially cuts a day from your schedule. Arriving one day early also helps protect you against any unforeseen flight delays due to bad weather, technical difficulties or missed connections. Our photographer leaders also arrive one day early to ensure that they are there for you on day one.
Is it a good idea to use a VPN to access the internet?
How will we be traveling on our journey?
Do you offer travel insurance?
We offer travel insurance through the internationally recognized Travelex Travel Insurance Company, as well as evacuation and medical transportation insurance through MedJet, one of the best in the industry. The cost for travel insurance can be as low as 4% of the total trip cost, depending upon age and other factors. Knowing you have trip cancellation coverage can make a big difference should you have to cancel for some eligible unforeseen reason. Travelex Insurance Services is a BBB Accredited business with an A+ rating. Click here to learn more about why you should consider travel insurance.
The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries and may be changed without notice. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. Travelex Insurance Services, Inc. CA Agency License #0D10209. Travel Insurance is underwritten by Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company; NAIC #22276.
Can we book as a group?
Yes, we also offer discounts to groups of 6 or more. If you’re a photography club, family or group of friends, we would be happy to make you a special offer. Please contact us or call 1-888-834-0288 for more information.
We hope this was helpful
Please contact or call 1-888-834-0288 if you have any further questions. Our team will be happy to assist you. We look forward to seeing you on one of our Photo Workshop Adventures!